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Music and Meaning on the Factory Floor
Marek Korczynski
Work and Occupations 2007 34: 253
DOI: 10.1177/0730888407303944
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Music and Meaning on the Factory Floor

Work and Occupations
Volume 34 Number 3
August 2007 253-289
© 2007 Sage Publications
10.1177/0730888407303944
http://wox.sagepub.com hosted at http://online.sagepub.com Marek Korczynski
Loughborough University Business School

This article examines an unexplored topic within industrial sociology—the terrain of music for meaning making on the factory floor. The article is based on ethnographic research undertaken in a blinds factory. Although contemporary popular music appears to speak only rarely to the arena of work, this article shows that workers reappropriated music to articulate their experience of working in the factory. Many workers independently created meaning systems through music, which displayed both a negative experience of the work and an active resistance and defiance. The way in which this functioned was through the process of avowal in which choruses of songs allowed deeply felt, but usually tacit, feelings to be given direct articulation. Social listening in the factory played a key role in shaping the way in which music was used to create meaning.
Keywords: music; factory; meaning; resistance; ethnography; social listening
Dead Rock stars are singin’ for me and the boys on the Rivet Line tonight.
Hendrix, Morrisson, Zeppelin. The Dead Rock Stars’ catalogue churnin’ outta
Hogjaw’s homemade boom box. . . . Tonight and every night they bawl. . . .
We’ve come back once again to tussle with our parts and to hear the Dead Rock
Stars harmonize above the industrial din.
—Hamper (1992, p. xvii)
Twice a day there was a reprieve from the grey sameness of a working day:
Muzac . . . it was . . . keenly looked forward to:
Val: It’s the best part of the day when the records come on.
Stella: 12 o’clock! Jimmy Young! They missed him twice last week!
—Pollert (1981, p. 132)

Author’s Note: Thanks to Ursula Ott, Mike Pickering, Emma Robertson, and Randy Hodson for comments on earlier drafts of this article and to participants at the Work Employment and
Society 2004 conference and at the University of Leicester Management School 2005 cultural studies workshop, where earlier drafts of the article were presented. Thanks also to two anonymous reviewers and Dan Cornfield for helpful comments. But most of all, thanks to the staff at MacTells for letting me listen in.
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As these two quotations attest, occasionally we are given glimpses into the importance of music for workers on the factory floor.1 But these glimpses remain tantalizing, for scholars have not sought to probe issues regarding music on the factory floor beyond measuring the effects of music on outcomes such as productivity and boredom (see studies cited in Oldham,
Cummings, Mischel, Schmidtke, & Zhou, 1995).2 The processes by which music might have an effect have been left unexamined. This means that any meanings ascribed by workers to music on the factory floor have been treated as a black box, not to be opened. This article opens up this black box by asking whether there are songs that speak to people about their working lives in the factory. If there are such songs, how do they speak to people?
What meanings are created around music by workers on the factory floor, and what are the processes by which these meaning are created? This article brings ethnographic research in a blinds factory to bear on these questions.
In this study, meaning refers to the way in which the workers as listeners understand and interpret songs in relation to work.
The following section provides an overview on the relationship between music and work. After that, the article gives details of the ethnographic study of music on a factory floor and gives contextual information about the factory concerned. The findings regarding the ways in which music spoke to people’s experiences of their factory work are then given. The analysis and concluding sections reflect on the findings.

Music and Work: Disarticulation?
This section first of all lays out why music as a terrain for meaning making about work has not been explored before by academics either from industrial sociology or from musicology. It then lays out a number of a priori theoretical positions that can be adopted regarding the likelihood and nature of such musical meaning making. This leads to a discussion of how contextual factors in the workplace may affect the ways in which songs are understood and interpreted. The final subsection argues that music as a terrain for meaning making about work is an important topic and that sociologists should stop ignoring it.
The relationship between music and work has long been a fractured one.
Prior to the industrial revolution, music and work existed in a symbiotic, mutually constitutive relationship with many people singing as they labored and with many popular songs implicitly carrying the rhythms of work
(Clayre, 1974; Cohen, 1993). With industrialization, however, came the

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advent of what C. Wright Mills (1957) called the “big split” between work and leisure. A binary opposition was created between work as a sphere of rationality and discipline and leisure as a sphere of freedom and irrationality, with music firmly placed in the latter sphere. Notably, many employers proscribed forms of musical expression by workers within the workplace
(Korczynski, 2003b).
Within this big split, it was hardly an accident that the music that arose for leisure barely referred to the arena of hardship and lack of freedom that was work. This, then, provided an alibi for sociologists of work—why go to music to understand work when there is little reference to work in music? Even when music was reintroduced in the workplace in the carefully controlled form of broadcast music in factories from the 1940s onward (Jones & Schumacher,
1992; Korczynski & Jones, 2006), industrial sociologists continued to ignore music in the workplace. For instance, the quotation above from Pollert’s
(1981) ethnographic study of a cigarette factory shows the industrial sociologist’s typically casual disdain toward music in the workplace.
The relative absence of work within the texts of popular music songs gave an alibi to music scholars as much as to industrial sociologists. The closest music scholars came to investigating work through music was to acknowledge the place of work as an absent present in the texts of popular songs.
Frith (1981), for instance, noted that music, with “its intimations of fun, irresponsibility and fulfillment,” had come to act as “an implicit critique of work” (p. 265). Only rarely did scholarly attention turn to the few cases of songs where the implicit reference to work became explicit, with studies of music and labor movements (D. Hall, 2001; Reuss & Reuss, 2000;
Roscigno & Danaher, 2003), the blues (Oliver, 1969), country and western
(Conrad, 1988), and the songs of Bruce Springsteen (Rhodes, 2004) standing out as notable exceptions.3
But, just because popular music only rarely explicitly refers to work, it does not follow that people on the factory floor are unable to hear things in music that can speak to them about their working lives. As acknowledged in active audience theory (Negus, 1996), the value of music lies in what it sets in motion for listeners rather than what it is as an artifact (Buchanan, 1997).
Listeners may be able to appropriate music in creative, playful, and challenging ways. For instance, S. Hall and Jefferson (1975) argue that many forms of music consumption by young people represent a class-conscious form of rebelliousness, or “resistance through rituals” (also see Willis,
1990). A crucial issue here concerns whether there are limits to the forms of meaning that may be created around commercial popular music on the factory floor. For instance, can factory workers find articulations of class

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conflict or implicit statements of the hidden injuries of class in a top-20 song about a broken heart?
Two extreme theoretical positions can be identified on this issue. On one hand, we have the critical analysis of modern music put forward by Adorno
(1978):
Music for entertainment . . . seems to complement the reduction of people to silence, the dying out of speech as expression, the inability to communicate at all. It inhabits the pockets of silence that develops between people molded by anxiety, work and undemanding docility. (p. 271)

For Adorno, consuming music in capitalist, industrialized societies involves a passive mass of consumers prepared to accept the standardized music forms, dressed up with a trimming of pseudoindividualization.
Adorno connects this passive mass of consumers to the nature of the labor process in industrialized capitalism, arguing that they are molded from the same standardized processes. The main mode of listening to music in industrialized capitalism, in Adorno’s analysis, involves passivity, distraction, and the overall affirmation of capitalist social relations. A number of commentators have argued that there are serious flaws in Adorno’s analysis, not least of which is his neglect of the agency of individuals and groups as consumers of music (Middleton, 1990). As Middleton (1990) puts it, “Even if the musical system were as constrictive as Adorno supposes, could listeners be so unfree?” (p. 57). Korczynski (2003b) has suggested that although the general answer to this question must be negative, it is the case that a worker in a Taylorized factory is indeed “in a social situation that is considerably
‘unfree’” (p. 323). As such, perhaps the factory floor is the place in which to find some support for Adorno’s arguments about how popular music closes off space for social critique.
On the other hand, it is possible to transfer Fiske’s (1987) analysis of the
“semiotic democracy” of television watching to this arena to suggest that there are few boundaries to the forms of meanings that can be created by workers on hearing music on the factory floor. Fiske argues that far from the substance of television programs dominating the meanings created by viewers around these programs, what actually happens in the reception of these programs is that viewers are able to create a range of meanings, many of which are likely to be unforeseen by the program makers and deliverers. Transferring this argument to the issue of musical meaning making about work, we would expect few barriers to workers creating a range of new and unanticipated meanings from popular songs.

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If there may be space in popular songs for a range of meanings to be created, we also need to consider what contextual factors may influence the meanings created. A key factor to consider is the social context of listening.
Whether listening is embedded in a thick social context or whether it occurs in an isolated, disembedded setting may exert a considerable influence on the form of meanings ascribed to songs. Although the wider literature on consumption acknowledges the potential importance of social versus individualized modes of consumption (Fuat Firat & Dholakia, 1998), in the literature on music “studies have tended to neglect the social context of music listening”
(Juslin & Laukka, 2004, p. 217). The limited empirical research in this area suggests that social listening generates more positive and binding experiences than does individualized listening (Thompson & Larson, 1995). In the workplace context, it may be that thick communities of practice (Wenger, 1998), or thick communities of coping (Korczynski, 2003a), can become intertwined with “communities of interpretation” (Fish, 1980). This point leads us to identify an important problem in Adorno’s analysis—namely, his privileging of individual, engaged listening (Middleton, 1990) and his failure to consider the possible implications of more social modes of listening (De Nora, 2003).
Although there are debates about whether and how music might be able to speak to people’s working lives, we still have to ask why we should want to know about whether and how it does. There are a number of powerful answers to this. Just as Cooper (1997) persuasively argues that rock music “is a particularly revealing source of the human spirit” (p. 101), so it is with music generally. Music can speak to us and for us, and our humanity, in ways that other forms of communication cannot. As researchers, we may have privileged oral and textual forms of communication, but it does not mean that this should be perpetuated. As Bendix (2000) puts it, “The nineteenth century’s unreflected preference for writing and print as media of learning and communicating knowledge almost automatically impoverished our understanding of the sensory and sensual totality of experience” (p. 1). Because of this, there is a need to “critically examine this legacy.” Willis (2000) argues further that
“embodied sense is often not expressed in language” (p. xii), De Nora (2000) argues that music becomes an implicit “technology of the self” in contemporary everyday life, and Eyerman (2006) argues that music can be “a means of knowing the world” (p. 115). Music is, therefore, a potentially rich medium through which to explore people’s experiences of work. This is doubly so because we know that music can be a transgressive medium of communication, allowing the expression of sentiments that would not be permitted in other formats. For instance, sailors could sing out grievances to the ship’s captain in the words of shanties (Hugill, 1961), and slaves could mock figures

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of powers in their songs (Epstein, 1977), although the expression of the same sentiments in written or spoken word was proscribed. Moreover, modern rock music has been seen as particularly suited to displaying a “power and ability to challenge traditional hierarchies” (Kohl, 1993, p. 146). A number of workplace ethnographies have highlighted how work groups autonomously create values and identities that can stand in distinction to those which management may wish them to have (Ackroyd & Thompson, 1999, chap. 3; Collinson,
1992). It should, therefore, be considered that music may offer an important terrain for “organizational misbehavior” (Ackroyd & Thompson, 1999) in the workplace. Finally, we can turn the question around. With music a key contemporary medium of everyday life, would it not be absurd to continue ignoring how music speaks to people about the realm of work, the realm in which they spend so much of their lives?

Method and Context
Ethnographic research underpins this article. The overall aim of the research is to study the role of music in people’s experience of factory work, seeking to take seriously Willis’s (2000) call for an ethnography of life as everyday art. I aimed to conduct a mixture of traditional industrial sociological ethnographic research (Delbridge, 1998; Hodson, 2001; Lupton, 1963;
Roy, 1958) with what Bendix (2000) has termed “an ethnography of listening.” This study takes up one of “the opportunities for ethnography in the sociology of music” outlined by Grazian (2004): namely, an ethnography of
“the consumption of music in real time and space” (p. 206). Ethnographies of people listening to (and engaging with) music unfortunately have been rare. Indeed, Hesmondhalgh (2002) notes that it is a “common fallacy that there are many empirical studies of popular music audiences. . . . In very few—in fact hardly any—of the studies . . . do we actually get to hear the voices of members of the popular music audience” (pp. 118-119).
Through personal contacts, I negotiated access into a blinds firm,
MacTells (a pseudonym), in the West Midlands of England, where I knew radio music was played on the shop floor. I worked for 3 months in this blinds factory, undertaking four shop floor jobs in two different workrooms of the factory in this time. My research role was overt. Before starting work, I introduced myself in a brief meeting to the workers and supervisors in the factory and explained the aim of my research. Although I learned and undertook the work, I also observed the behavior of the workers, and I also talked with them about their jobs and their feelings about music generally and about music and

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work particularly. In Gold’s (1958) terms, my research role was one of
“participant-as-observer.” Because I was not a normal worker (and also because I was not being paid for my labor by the firm), I had some latitude to walk around the shop floor and talk with people beyond the immediate milieu of my worktable. Like Ditton (1977), “I found it impossible to keep everything that I wanted to remember in my head until the end of the working day . . . and so had to take rough notes during the day” (p. 5). During the day, at break times and at toilet breaks, I quickly scribbled reminder notes to myself on a small notepad while in the toilet—again, like Ditton. At the end of each day, I used these notes in audiotaping a research diary. Once the research was complete, these research diary tapes were transcribed, creating a research diary document of 80,000 words. In addition, I was able to conduct four formal interviews with managers. In the first section of the factory, as is common in ethnographic research, after a brief period during which I was treated as something of a curiosity, my presence appeared to be taken as an accepted and acceptable part of everyday shop floor life (Hammersley &
Atkinson, 1995). I struck up friendships with many of my immediate colleagues. In the second workroom, this period of adjustment was longer because, for the first 3 days, my immediate work colleagues told me that there was a suspicion that I was a “management spy.” This suspicion only dissipated after I supplied the address of my university Web page to Maureen, who held the deepest suspicion about me. The Web page gave my photo and my research interests as involving how workers use music in the workplace. This was enough to win over Maureen and any other doubters about my role.
For the particular topic of this article, I draw on conversations with 89 workers on the shop floor. I undertook these conversations only after the respective periods of adjustment in the two workrooms. As will become clear below, the nature of the answers clearly assuages any doubt that the respondents may have continued to be suspicious of me. The answers they gave were not the sort that one would give to a “management spy.” In these conversations,
I asked whether there was song or a piece of music that spoke to them in any way, musically, rhythmically, or lyrically, for instance, about their experience of working in the factory. Their replies to this question constitute the findings reported in this article. As reported below, overall this question yielded rich data, although when the research started I had only a hope, but no previous evidence, to suggest that it would yield insightful answers. It was a conscious decision to ask the question of workers while on the shop floor rather than at break times or outside of work, while socializing. One of the strengths of ethnographic research is that it offers a contextual understanding of social behavior (Bryman, 2001). As noted below, music at work played an important

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role in this factory, and it was my judgment that because of this, the richest data on music about work would be yielded within the work milieu. The presence of music in the work context could help to break down the disarticulation between music and work that is part of our wider culture.
The MacTells factory employed 170 people in manual production positions at the time of the research, working in four product-specific workrooms— vertical blinds, roller blinds, soft furnishing, and pleated blinds. My research was undertaken in the two largest workrooms—manufacturing “verticals” and “rollers.” MacTells manufactured customized, made-to-measure window blinds. A key part of the competitive strategy involved a quick 4-day turnaround from when a specific customer order was relayed to the firm. The relative size of customer orders could vary considerably between products, so management sought flexibility to allow a quick shifting of staff between workrooms as required. It was policy to offer a wage rate marginally above the national minimum wage. Both of these factors contributed to most of the jobs in the workrooms being low skilled, with a small number being medium skilled. The manufacturing of the blinds was broken down into a number of narrow, discrete tasks, and people’s jobs involved the repetition of one particular task (albeit with variations in parts of the substance of the task according to different customer orders; e.g., cutting different sizes of fabric). So, for instance, there were 11 job types in the manufacturing of rollers—rod cutting, fabric fetching, fabric cutting, hem folding, hem stitching, hem shaping, braiding, sticking, finishing, testing, and packing. The subprocesses of the work were more socially integrated in the rollers room than in the verticals room. Members of different work tables directly interacted with workers from other work tables as part of the transfer of work in the rollers room, whereas this was not the case in the verticals room.
Of the workforce, 80% were female, and 80% of the staff worked full-time.
Management had no data on the overall age composition, but I estimated that in the two workrooms in which I worked, the average age was around 35. Of the workforce in the two workrooms, 10% were members of an ethnic minority group. Ethnic minority group membership was evenly split between Indian or Pakistani and Afro-Caribbean. The production management reported that
“turnover was 35% to 40%.” Payment was by an hourly rate, with no opportunity for bonus earning. Some staff had worked their way up in to supervisor positions, but this was the only route of job progression within the factory and was very limited. There was no recognized trade union.
The research was conducted with an awareness of the potential importance of systematic differences in the experience of work (and of music and work) among different ethnic groups, sexes, and age groups. Following Vallas

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(2003), we know that we must be conscious of potentially important spatial segregations of ethnic groups at work. Extending this insight to an ethnography of listening in the workplace, it is also necessary to be conscious of the potential for an aural segregation across ethnic groups. Indeed, it is also necessary to be conscious of a potential aural segregation across sexes and across age groups. Just because one group hears a song in a certain way does not mean that other groups will hear it in the same way. As Middleton (1990) puts it, “It needs a considerable act of sociological sympathy to grasp that other listeners may actually hear different things, or hear them in different relationships” (p. 105).
The research was informed by these considerations in the following ways.
First, I sought to include all shop floor workers as respondents to the question that brought out the data reported below. Ultimately, I was able to ask the question to all but a handful of workers—mainly because these workers went on sick leave or holiday leave in the last period of my time in the two workrooms.
In terms of ethnicity, sex, and age, the profile of the nonrespondents was no different from that of the respondents. Second, I made notes of the ethnicity, sex, and age of each of the respondents, and I was therefore able to examine if the responses to the question differed by any of these categories. Third, the question on which this article is built was designed as a listener-centered question: “Is there a song or a piece of music that speaks to you in any way, musically, rhythmically or lyrically, for instance, about your experience of working here?” I judged this to be a question that would allow respondents to articulate how they might “hear different things.” Finally, my research involved a wider examination of the uses of music on the shop floor. In this research, I sought not just to investigate the dominant musical cultures on the shop floor but also to examine any subcultures. I identified a number of these subcultures; for instance, a few workers managed to wear headphones and listen to their own tapes for small periods in a day (the wearing of headphones was against company policy). In terms of ethnicity, sex, and age, the profile of the members of these subcultures was little different from that of the profile of the members of the main musical cultures of the shop floor.

Music and Meaning Making on the Factory Floor
The Role of Music on the Factory Floor
Liz (30) says: “Oh, you need the radio at work, I need music at work.
Classical would be nice but it’s too relaxing, you need something lively to

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keep you going. Oh, it’s deadly quiet without music at work, it’s really dead.”
(Research diary Day 10)4

Music could be widely heard on the factory floor at MacTells. In the verticals workroom, there was a central broadcast system, with loudspeakers relaying the radio all round the room, and in the rollers workroom, workers brought in their own radios, which were dotted around the workroom so that everybody was able to hear a radio and so that workers on a given worktable or in a given work area were able to hear one given radio. In both workrooms, radios were usually switched on (by workers) within 15 minutes of the shift starting and were still playing 9 hours later at the end of the shift. Although there were some machines that emitted some noise, it was possible to hear the music in nearly all the work positions in the two rooms. The workforce chose which radio stations were playing. The available stations, provided by the main public service and local commercial broadcasters, were of four types: stations playing popular (singles-chart) music, usually linked to specific periods (e.g., “contemporary” or “80s and 90s” music); stations playing more adult-oriented rock and pop music; stations playing classical music; and stations devoted to talk rather than music. Workers chose only stations that played popular chart music (of various vintages; see below). Those (few) workers who expressed to me their general preference for country and western music, classical music, or types of talk radio did not try to have these stations playing as they realized they would not be popular on the shop floor. For a significant majority of the workers in this factory, music played a key role in how they coped and survived the low-skill, repetitive labor that they faced day in, day out. Music was a key part of the Stayin’ Alive culture of the shop floor.5 The music that was chosen was chosen primarily because it could contribute to this Stayin’Alive culture. Time and again, I was told that it was crucial that the music should be “lively,” “upbeat,” “something to give you a spring in the step,” and “something you can sing along to.”
Music was one of the key resources that the workers called on in their active attempts to create a mood during the workday that they used to help them to get through the day without feeling badly bored, a mood that allowed them “to have some fun and a laugh,” thus rising above the immediate material circumstances of the deadening demands of doing “the same boring thing everyday.” As Carole (40) in rollers put it, referring to the need for music in the context of the repetitiveness of the jobs, “It’s monotonous enough at work, it can be so boring, you’ve got to have music. It lifts you out of that.”
This “lifting” happened in a number of ways: through individualized listening in which an individual heard a song that communicated to him or her in some way, though significant musical instigators in the workrooms loudly

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singing along or dancing to attract the attention and smiles of colleagues, and through occasional spurts of collective singing along to choruses by four or five people, an event that invariably ended with shared laughter and smiles among both the people concerned and their colleagues around them. This role of music as a key part of the Stayin’Alive shop floor culture was the main way in which music formed a part of the everyday working lives of the MacTells workers. The question around which this article is framed sought to go beneath the surface of the everyday use of music to ascertain meanings created by workers with regard to music.

Data on Musical Nominations
Within the context of the important role of music in the coping culture of the shop floor, I asked 89 people whether they could think of a piece of music that spoke to them about their experience at MacTells. Following on from this, I also then asked them why they had chosen that particular song.
Once the replies were transcribed, I coded the different songs nominated by people into categories relating to the meaning behind the nomination of the song. The coding typology is the first-stage organization of the data, necessary before a proper analysis of the data can be undertaken in the following section. The process gave 12 coding categories. These are briefly laid out in reverse rank order below.
12. Laughter at management rhetoric (1 nomination; example song = “Beautiful
Day” by U2)

U2’s “Beautiful Day” was used in a promotional video shown to staff. In the video, MacTells staff were shown as happy and smiling. This was seen as ridiculous by the worker nominating this song (Barbara, 40), who ironically commented, “Can’t you see how much we all love working here? We love the work, we love the supervisors, we love the pay.” Here, Barbara picked out the repetitive, low-skill work, the supervisors who antagonized many workers when they walked round the floor imposing forms of direct control (Edwards,
1979) when extra production was needed at short notice, and the low pay, seen by many as symptomatic of the low status accorded to the shop floor workers at MacTells. In fact, these three factors were seen in a very negative light by many MacTells workers.
10. Thinking of being somewhere else (2 nominations; example song =
“Summer Holiday” by Cliff Richard)

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In this category, a song captured something of the experience of working at MacTells in the sense of capturing the desire to be somewhere else, somewhere enjoyable. Jane (55) nominated Cliff Richard’s “Summer Holiday” because it expressed her experience at MacTells of “thinking of being away.”
10. Research process as mood work (2 nominations; example song = “Rollin’,
Rollin’” by Frankie Lane)

As noted above, the workers at MacTells actively sought to create a mood at work that allowed them to at least partially rise above the monotonous demands of their jobs. On occasion, the process of me asking the “nomination question” became caught up in this mood work. Joyce (60) worked in the rollers section, and so her nomination of “Rollin,’ Rollin’” was a joke.
6. Melancholia (3 nominations; example song = “The Scientist” by Coldplay)

Three people nominated a song that expressed a feeling of melancholia, of the sad despair that was part of their working at MacTells. Alison’s nomination of the deeply melancholic Coldplay song “The Scientist” is further discussed below.
6. Rising above (3 nominations; example song = “Dignity” by Deacon Blue)

Claire’s (18) song to nominate was “Dignity” by Deacon Blue: “It really makes me think of this place, it’s about putting up with somewhere just putting your money by, so you can move on and get out of there, that’s what
I’m doing here” (Day 37).
Claire’s song captured her experience of being able to put up with the indignities of working at MacTells through the belief that she both deserved better and would receive better in the future.
6. Musical instigators (3 nominations; example song = “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers/Jane)
Jenny (55) says that her choice of song that captures MacTells is “Unchained
Melody” because there had been earlier banter about Jane singing and about how she’s really terrible at singing “Unchained Melody” and Jenny says that’s her memory, a song that brings back MacTells, and when she hears it she thinks of Jane’s absolutely awful version it. She really belts it out, and she thinks of Jane doing that at MacTells and that matches what she says about her place, she says, “Its all right here I quite like it.” (Day 9)

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As noted above, an important aspect of the mood work on the factory floor was the key role of musical instigators who would sing along to songs, sometimes very loudly, to attract the attention and smiles of colleagues. Jane was a key musical instigator in the rollers section. The nominations in this category then directly speak to the role of music in the work of elevating the mood on the factory floor. These were nominations about joy despite the factory setting, as Rick (35) also made clear:
I ask him whether he can think of a piece of music for his work and he nominates R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly,” “because it was sung really highly there, really high pitched voice by one girl, by one lass, it was comical, it brought the house down in stitches. It’s the people rather than the place” he said. (Day 37)
6. Survival (3 nominations; example song = “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor)

Gloria Gaynor’s disco anthem hit from the mid-1970s related the story of a strong woman’s spirit surviving despite her initial fears after her lover left her. The song grows, with a sense of fierce pride and independence coming through stronger and stronger. The implication of this nomination was that active determination was needed to cope with and survive the indignities of the factory floor at MacTells.
Maureen (65): Well, what have you learnt while you’ve been here?
Me: Mainly about how music is used to help survive in this place. [turning to
Julie] It’s like the song you nominated, “I Will Survive.” [Julie nods]
Maureen: Well you’ve got to, haven’t you. (Day 48)

An example of this need for a spirit of survival came after the supervisors had imposed strict discipline for 2 hours in the afternoon to try to hit the daily production target. Supervisors imposed discipline by shouting out statements such as, “Less chat, more work. Come on, we need the numbers,” as they went round trying to ensure that all staff were working at the maximum speed at the task at hand. This involved questioning any worker who left his or her immediate work bench. After this period of strict discipline, Maureen walked by and commented to me and my coworkers: “Don’t let the bastards grind you down” (Day 42).
5. Hated repetition (4 nominations; example song = “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion)
Janice (45), who does dollying, nominates “that really depressing song from
Titanic.” I say “Celine Dion?,” she says “yes, when it was out it was always

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playing as I walked in. It’s depressing enough to walk in this place, but that was just too much.” (Day 37)

For the people who disliked this nearly ubiquitous Celine Dion hit from
1997, the keywords were “will go on and on” because the repeated hearings of this song emphasized how the form of this long and slow ballad mirrored these words. Furthermore, the song was notable for the repetition of the phrase “will go on,” which was central to both the verse and the chorus structures. For Janice, these points of repetition and the doleful subject matter of the song both caught and exacerbated the repeated dolefulness she felt as she entered MacTells each morning. Here, music expressed Janice’s mood before music could be proactively used to change the mood on the shop floor. Indeed, the elements of the “depressing” nature of the song and its constant repetition was antithetical to qualities of “lively” and “varied” music that were central to the more usual role of music in the mood work on the shop floor.
4. Despairing frustration (6 nominations; example song = “Killing Me Softly” by The Fugees)

Here, nominations expressed a frustration at the nature of the factory environment in a way that suggested that there was no end to this situation.
So, for instance, Stella’s (50) nomination of “Killing Me Softly” expressed how she felt that “the place is really getting me down. It’s killing me softly, it is” (Day 9), a statement given shortly after a supervisor had repeatedly told her to “stop talking” and to speed up her work. Within this category, there was no intimation of the desire to break free that was central to the category of “antagonistic frustration and the desire to break free” that is discussed below.
3. Community (12 nominations; example song = “We Are Family” by Sister
Sledge)
I ask Wendy (50) for her nomination again, she’s been thinking about it for a about a week, she’s on the twilight shift. “It’s ‘We Are Family’ by Sister
Sledge,” she says, “a little while back when we were working really crazy hours, working ‘till midnight, horrendous, massive overtime we were doing because there was a big change over or something, we did a lot of overtime, and I spent so much time here it was like an extended family. It was really like we are family, that’s how it felt. My mates here.” She gestures with her arms as if she is walking along the street linking arms with her friends. (Day 32)

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For Wendy, Sister Sledge’s famous 1970s disco anthem expressed the strong and vibrant feeling of togetherness that she felt with her mates at work:
We are family
I got all my sisters with me. (“We Are Family,” Sister Sledge)

At MacTells, the bonds of togetherness and friendship ran deep on the factory floor—especially within the rollers section. There was no serious basis of competition between the workers, and there was little in the division of labor to create any serious structured antagonism between workgroups.
Nearly everyone was “mate” or “love.” If someone dropped something, there would be three people bending down to help pick it up. The workforce were closely bound together in their mood work, which was undertaken as a reaction against the debilitating, repetitive labor and as a way of surviving despite it.
2. No song nominated (19 respondents; no example song)

A fifth of the people who were asked the nomination question said that there was no piece of music that spoke to them about their experience of working at MacTells. These were people who met the question with either a blank or a puzzled expression, both of which implied that I was asking a strange question. “No, not really” and “No I can’t say that there is” were the common forms of reply. Sometimes, there was the polite form, “Oh, I’ll have to have a think about that.” But more often than not, these workers were still not able to come up with an answer when I raised the question again a few days later.
1. Antagonistic frustration and the desire to break free (31 nominations; example song = “We’ve Got to Get Out of This Place” by The Animals)
“I know,” says Margaret (55), straightaway, “I don’t have to think about it—
‘We’ve Got to Get out of Here’”—she means “We’ve Got to Get Out of This
Place” by the Animals. “Everyone sings it we all sing along with that when it comes on we all do,” she says smiling. (Day 7)
May (58) and she’s on testing and she says she’s got 2 years to go here, can’t think of anything immediately regarding my question, and then she says
“We’ve Got to Get Out of This Place”—she says, “Everyone sings along with it when its on because that’s how you feel when you get towards the end of the day that’s really how you feel.” (Day 9)

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This feeling at the end of the day referred to the antagonism felt toward the indignities accumulated during the day, especially from the weight of the repetitiveness of the low-skill jobs and from the demeaning way some workers would be treated by supervisors in periods of the need for increases in production—for instance, some supervisors would call a group of workers together on the shop floor and publicly rebuke them for their lack of productivity. In all, 35% of people nominated a song that expressed a mixture of antagonistic frustration and the desire to break free as the one that spoke to them about their experience at MacTells. Within this category, by far the most popular song nominated was The Animals’s “We’ve Got to Get Out of
This Place,” the lyrics of which clearly express antagonistic frustration at working hard and going nowhere. The song begins with a description of the singer as a young man observing his father being ground down by work and articulating the despair that comes from realizing that work will have the same effect on him. The song’s chorus offers the only solution:
We’ve got to get out of this place
If it’s the last thing we ever do. (“We’ve Got to Get Out of This Place,” The
Animals)

Analysis
What do the musical choices tell us about the experience of life on the factory floor at MacTells that we would not have learned from a normal ethnography? In an important sense, the answer to this question is unknowable— there is no normal ethnography of MacTells with which to compare the one conducted. A number of relevant points can be made, however. The weakest point to make is that the music nominations serve as another source of data, thus helping triangulation in the research process. The ethnography conducted did not just focus on music—on musical nominations and on the use of music to survive at work—but it also involved traditional ethnographic observation and discussions about the work and the workplace culture.
Many of the results of the musical ethnography supported and reinforced the results of the normal ethnography. It was clear from the normal ethnography for instance, that most people disliked the low-skill, repetitive work. Time and again, when I asked, “What do you think of it here?” I was told, “It’s boring” or “It’s the same thing every day, isn’t it?” It was also clear from the normal ethnographic research that there were strong bonds of community on the shop floor—the jokes that were shared, the forms of address that were used, the references to widespread socializing together outside of the workplace.

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These themes clearly came through in the musical ethnography also. It is possible, however, to identify three themes in the musical nomination findings that do more than merely triangulate the sort of findings we would expect in a normal ethnography. The discussion is structured around these themes—music, active defiance, and meaning making; music and avowal; and social listening and articulation between music and work. In addition, there is a discussion of the findings with respect to the ethnicity, sex, and age of the respondents.

Musical Choices, Active Defiance, and Meaning Making
If the categories of non-nomination and research process as mood work are excluded, there are 68 substantively meaningful answers to the nomination question. The discussion in this subsection concerns these 68 responses.
An overwhelmingly negative experience of life on the factory floor underpinned the vast majority of these responses. A strong negative experience informed the nominations for seven of the categories: antagonistic frustration and the desire to break free, despairing frustration, hated repetition, rising above, thinking of being somewhere else, survival, and melancholia. In all, 52 nominations (77%) are in these categories. By contrast, only the categories of community and musical instigators can be seen as related to a positive aspect of life on the factory floor (although it should also be borne in mind that even the positive aspects were created as a reaction against the negatively experienced demands of the jobs; see below). A total of 15 nominations (22%) are in these two categories.
In addition to highlighting the negative experience of life on the factory floor, the musical nominations data bring out in great depth the process of actively resisting being dominated and defined by the repetitive meaningless work at MacTells. Although the workers might be labeled “braiders” or
“scallopers,” they were not braiders or scallopers in any meaningful sense.
They were better than that and were not prepared to let the work define them, even when they were at work doing the braiding or scalloping. This much is clear from the musical nomination data. Other ethnographic research has given rich description of the creation of autonomous systems of meaning in workplaces studied—for instance, Roy’s (1958) famous description of the meaning of “banana time” and Burawoy’s (1979) description of
“making out.” However, it is rare for these rich descriptions to go further than suggest that these autonomous meaning systems are an implicit rejection of the formal system of meanings in the workplaces studied (although see Collinson, 1992). What is important about the musical nomination data

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is that they provide systematic data that in the medium of music at MacTells a majority of workers engaged in an explicit and active rejection of these formal meanings. “Dignity,” “The Only Way Is Up,” “We’ve Got to Get Out of This Place,” “I’ve Got To Break Free,” “Rise,” “I Will Survive”: all these nominated songs were explicit musical statements of rejection of the formal workplace and its system of meanings. The research showed music as a key terrain for what Ackroyd and Thompson (1999) term “organizational misbehavior.” Active resistance in meaning making informed seven categories of nominations: antagonistic frustration and the desire to break free, community, musical instigators, rising above, survival, thinking of being somewhere else, and laughter at management rhetoric. In all, 55 responses (81%) are in these categories.6 Each is examined in turn.
The category of frustration and the desire to break free directly speaks to such an active resistance. Implicit in the most popular choice of “We’ve Got to Get Out of This Place” (n = 22) was the belief that the person was better than the place and would not let himself or herself be pulled down by the place. In addition, there was one song within the category of frustration and desire to break free that was written for me by Adam (25). Adam had just started at MacTells. I talked to him quite a lot and found out that he had musical ambitions:
Adam, the new guy who started the week after me, who used to be in the Army for 6 years and has got his 24-track recording studio. I ask him how his music’s going. He says it’s great, he’s got this great Dire Straights–like riff, but it’s like he keeps adding bits over it when he gets back from work and “it’s blowing my mind now” . . . and I ask him whether he’s planning to write anything about working at MacTells and he says, “Yes, when I leave, when I leave I’ll come here and I’ll play them something, I’ll play everybody a song about this place and about working here and the people.” (Day 14)

Although he had hoped to be able to “stick it” at MacTells for a while to earn some money, he decided to leave after 6 weeks: “I’ve had enough, I can’t take it here.” Only at the end of these 6 weeks did I ask him to nominate a song:
Adam writes me a song. I ask him to nominate a song, he says “I’ll write you one man.” Half an hour later he’s written this:
Working for the shark,
Dodging his back when the sky goes dark,
Bobbing and weaving for the time it will take

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‘Cos our minds are rocks and they will not break.
Same old jazz day in a day out,
Will make us run and scream and shout.
The sixth week of boredom slowly it’s passed
When the clock strikes one they can kiss my ass. (Day 35)7

This song expressed a strong resentment at the work context, a strong statement that he would not be dominated by this work context and a strong desire to break free from the factory. These were also key factors underpinning the songs nominated at MacTells. Resentment (at the demeaning repetitive work) is clear in Adam’s statement:
Same old jazz day in and day out,
Will make us run and scream and shout

Adam’s song expressed the determination that he and his colleagues would not be beaten by the demeaning work context:
Bobbing and weaving for the time it will take
‘Cos our minds are rocks and they will not break.

The desire for release is plainly expressed in the song’s last line, written by Adam to celebrate his leaving MacTells:
The sixth week of boredom slowly it’s passed
When the clock strikes one they can kiss my ass.

The nominations around the theme of community also expressed active resistance. Take, for instance, Emma’s (21) nomination of “So Hot” by Nellie:
“‘So Hot’ by Nellie—that’s it. There’s me, Tracey Wilds and Tracey Marr who’s left, we always used to have a laugh, sing and dance to it when it came on,” she says. “We don’t come to work, we don’t come here to work we’ve come to socialize.” (Day 33)

This last remark that “we don’t come to work, we don’t come here to work we’ve come to socialize” speaks to defiance, that the work might be awful but it is possible to rise above this because of your mates on the floor.
The same arguments apply to the nominations within the closely related category of musical instigators. Consider Rick’s observation, noted under the category of musical instigators, with regard to his nomination of R. Kelly’s

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“I Believe I Can Fly”: “It’s the people rather than the place.” Implicit in the musical choice and the statement is the idea that the place does not dominate and will not be allowed to dominate the people.
The nominations within the categories of rising above and survival are those that are most explicit in stating an active resistance of people against being dominated and defined by the work at MacTells. The defiance of “I
Will Survive” is eloquent here:
Did you think I’d crumble?
Did you think I’d lay down and die?
Oh no not I, I will survive.

The demand for dignity in Deacon Blue’s “Dignity,” nominated by
Claire, is similarly direct and eloquent. The song tells the story of a publicly employed street cleaner. It details the daily indignities that he has to endure but highlights the inner strength of the worker, who reclaims his dignity by seeing his job as giving him the means to accumulate enough money to buy a boat called Dignity:
They’ll ask me how I got her I’ll say “I saved my money”
They’ll say isn’t she pretty that ship called Dignity. (“Dignity,” Deacon Blue)

Nominations within the category of thinking of being somewhere else capture the way in which people think of themselves of being elsewhere while they are working at MacTells. This process of working and thinking of oneself on a “Summer Holiday” with a Cliff Richard soundtrack is itself a way of resisting being dominated and defined by the work at MacTells. The nomination of U2’s “Beautiful Day” within the category of laughter at management rhetoric also contains an unambiguous rejection of formal management values.
The data from the nomination question show music as a site for organizational misbehavior in workers’ articulation of a negative experience of work and in workers’ active resistance to being dominated by this work. In considering the status of this finding for the role of music on the shop floor, it should be recalled that the main everyday use of music on the shop floor was as part of the overall Stayin’ Alive culture—music was used to create a communal mood of fun and laughter. The nomination question sought to go beneath the surface of the role of music in this culture to consider meanings created in music by workers about work. It is appropriate to consider the level of congruence between the nomination findings about beneath-the-surface meaning

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on one hand and the description of music’s main role in the everyday Stayin’
Alive culture on the other.
The picture that emerges is one of congruence between these two levels of data. Two points underpin this statement. First, the Stayin’ Alive culture itself was predicated on the very factors that were highlighted by the answers to the nomination question. The Stayin’ Alive culture—the creation of a communal mood of fun and laughter—was predicated on the existence of debilitating, demeaning work and the need to rise above this work to survive. To quote
Carole (40) again, “It’s monotonous enough at work, it can be so boring, you’ve got to have music. It lifts you out of that.” The everyday cultural use of music and the meanings about work ascribed to some songs were, therefore, deeply intertwined. The second point concerns how this intertwining came about. As explicated in the subsection below on social listening, the context of social listening within the shop floor Stayin’ Alive culture had a large impact on the sorts of meanings that were created about work through music. The everyday cultural use of music, therefore, left a strong stamp on the meanings that were created about work through music.

Music of Defiance and the Process of Avowal in the Chorus
This section explicates avowal as the central process by which meanings of defiance were created through music. Avowal refers to the way in which music allows the direct articulation of a deep feeling that usually lies tacit.
The process of avowal was the key process in meaning making for the songs placed in the coding categories of antagonistic frustration and the desire to break free, survival, and rising above—the categories in which active defiance was at its sharpest.8
The songs ascribing forms of defiance were nominated not primarily for the narrative of the song nor for the aesthetic qualities of the music within the song, but rather because their choruses allowed the direct articulation of a deeply held, yet often tacit, feeling about work. Time and again, workers explained their choice of song by exclusively alluding to a refrain within the chorus of the chosen song. The songs articulating defiance were chosen because a particular refrain within the songs’ choruses gave workers musical space to articulate a deeply held feeling about the workplace.
The way in which avowal was linked to the chorus of songs comes out in the following diary notes:9
The Animal’s “We’ve Got to Get Out of This Place” comes on. People don’t quite realize it until it gets toward the chorus. Charlotte shouts out, “hey, here’s

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our song,” and about three people say “yes” and sing along with the chorus.
Debbie comes through and says to me, “Here’s another one that’s good for this place,” I go through to the next room and about 10 people are singing along with it. There’s a strong intensity that doesn’t match the singing to other songs
I’ve seen. I go back through and Tracey Wilds is punching her fist in the air,
“We’ve Got to Get Out of This Place.”
There was no singing along with any parts of the song other than the chorus lines:
We’ve got to get out of this place,
If it’s the last thing we ever do,
We’ve got to get out this place. (Day 22)

The musical structure of contemporary popular music, with the build up to the catchy, instantly memorable, and singable chorus, played a central role in the process of avowal. It is not just that these were an apposite set of words that led to avowal. Rather, declamatory choruses that often musically released the tension built up during the verses were a central part of the process of avowal. This process was particularly evident for “We’ve Got to
Get Out of This Place.” Although performed by one of the great White blues vocalists, Eric Burdon, musically the song is not a straightforward blues song. The blues tension of the verse is predominantly made up of Burdon’s despairing vocals accentuating the blues scale that the vocal melody line occupies. This tension is resolved in the chorus, where the full band enters to play a standard pop chorus, complete with the mainstream pop chord structure of a riff based around the first, third, and fifth major chords. The vocal melody line of the chorus moves out of the blues scale into the standard major scale of popular music. The chorus’s major scale musical release of the blues tension built on within the verse exactly mirrors the lyrical sense of release that comes from the refrain of “We’ve Got to Get Out of This
Place,” which responds to the despairing conditions of working life outlined within the verse.
Another clear indication of this process of avowal linked to choruses came in the discussion I had with Doreen (60):
I ask Doreen a question about a song that speaks to her working life at
MacTells—“I Want to Break Free” by Queen. “That’s a good question. ‘I
Wanna Break Free’ by Queen came straight in to my head,” and I ask her to think a little bit if she wants to, and she says, “Right I’ve been thinking of a few happy ones but they wouldn’t be appropriate.” (Day 7)

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I asked Doreen why she’s chosen Queen, which she sticks to after thinking about other ones, “Its obvious isn’t it I wanna break free of this bloody place, oh sometimes it’s horrendous,” and her usual smiling generous face is temporarily distorted into hatred and then relaxing and then says, “Although other times it’s all right.” (Day 7)

In the case of Vinny (40), who had just been made a team leader after working on the shop floor for a number of years, the process of avowal was also important:
Vinny smiles straightaway when I ask him the nomination question. “There is one, yeah—straight into my head. Yaz, “The Only Way Is Up,” cos when I got there [his first position at MacTells] I knew that I was better than this. It was on the radio sometimes and it’s just that feeling to help me rise above it all.”
(Day 48).

Here, the importance of the song to Vinny in relation to work lies not in its melody or in its narrative about lovers going through hard times but rather in the way that the declamatory chorus allowed the articulation of a deeply held feeling about the workplace. This process of musical avowal also underpinned the common way in which people would give an answer to the nomination question in a way that suggested that the answer was sufficient in itself and did not require further explanation:
Julie nominates Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” “Yeah, that’s it,” she says, implying that her answer needs no further explanation, her face taking on the look of stoic determination. (Day 45)

The tendency by workers to struggle in explaining the reasons underpinning the song they nominated can also be seen as arising from the musical knowledge, rather than the simply textual knowledge, that the songs’ choruses articulated. The process of avowal involved an embodied, musically felt knowledge being expressed, an example in Willis’s (2000) terms of the way in which “embodied sense” may often “not (be) expressed in language”
(p. xii), or, in this case, not solely expressed in language.10

Social Listening and the Articulation Between Music and Work
This section is structured in the following way. First, there is a discussion of the overall propensity for workers to be able to find meaning about work in music and of the effect of social listening on this propensity, a discussion

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that also considers the nature of the linkages between music and community suggested by the data. Following this, there is an examination of the effect of social listening on the types of meaning created about work through music. Finally, there is an analysis of how far the songs chosen had lyrics that explicitly referred to work.
The broad cultural disarticulation between music and work was discussed in the introduction of the article. Here, the aim is to consider how much the data map onto this broad cultural pattern. Overall, the main finding must be that 79% (70 nominations) of the people asked were able to nominate a song as meaningfully speaking to them about their working lives. This points to a high degree of articulation between music and work for the workforce of
MacTells. The analysis suggests that social listening within the factory context played a key role in informing this high level of articulation between music and work. Indeed, the analysis shows that social listening had a key impact both on the likelihood of people nominating a song and on the nature of the meaning ascribed to nominated songs. These points are addressed in turn.
Social listening embedded in a strong workplace culture was much more prevalent in the verticals workroom than in the rollers workroom. It is likely that this difference underpinned the much higher percentage of workers nominating a song in the rollers room than in the verticals room. In the rollers workroom, only 3 out of 47 people (6%) asked were unable to nominate a song that spoke to them about their working lives. By contrast, in the verticals workroom, 16 out of 42 people (38%) were unable to nominate a song.
The stronger workplace culture in the rollers room was evident in a number of ways. In the rollers room, all workers knew each other’s name; in the verticals room, workers tended not to know a significant section of people in the room. Social interaction was much more frequent in the rollers room than in the verticals room. The tone of this interaction tended to be more friendly in the rollers room than in the verticals room—there were more smiles and joking encounters. It was no accident that the suspicion that I was a management spy arose in the verticals room rather than in the rollers room.
Crucially, social listening interactions were also much more prevalent in the rollers workroom than in the verticals room. The rollers room was more densely populated with musical instigators than the verticals room, and the musical instigators were more socially active in the rollers room than in the verticals room; social dancing and singing along, prompted by the musical instigators, occurred more often in the rollers room.
Indeed, all forms of singing along were more common in the rollers room.
The rollers room contained very few workers who did not engage in the
Stayin’ Alive shop floor culture, whereas in the vertical room, a significant

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percentage of workers were outside of this culture. Sylvia represented an extreme example of a verticals worker standing outside the Stayin’Alive culture:
After talking to Sylvia (45) about the sort of music she likes (“60s stuff, mostly”), I ask her the nomination question. She looks at me with a puzzled expression and asks, “How do you mean?” So I say, “Is there a song or a bit of music that speaks to you in some way about working at MacTells. It might be a bit like you know how certain songs might remind you of a place, or a person or a time, is there a song a bit like that for here?” “Oh,” she says, shaking her head slowly, “No, not really. There’s lots of songs that remind me of life as such, but not of work, not really.” (Day 48)

The inability to nominate a song regarding MacTells sprang not from a general music–memory disassociation among people but rather was related to the thinness of their engagement with MacTells and the shop floor culture there. Notably, Sylvia talked this way about herself and MacTells:
The people here are OK, but let’s put it this way. I keep myself to myself. The money from overtime is OK. You know, I can’t hear what the people are saying standing here. (Day 48)

Indeed, I only once saw Sylvia chat with anyone on the shop floor. When
I went to talk to her at her fabric cutting machine (one of the few loud ones on the floor), I realized how socially isolated her position was. There was no one in range with whom to have a conversation, and, indeed, it was very difficult to even properly hear any of the radio music. Work for Sylvia was nothing more than somewhere to stand at a machine counting rows of fabric being cut while also counting up the money being earned. Work was not “life as such,” and so it did not have any songs connected to it.
In the above paragraphs, I have argued that different levels and forms of social listening between the two workrooms were the key factors leading to differences in workers’ propensity to find an articulation between music and work. This begs the question of why there existed these differences in levels and forms of social listening between the two workrooms. Interrogating this question allows me to probe the nature of the link between music and community at MacTells—whether it was music that caused workers to build communities or whether it was the existence of a communal spirit in the first place that led to a social engagement with the music. Three factors appeared significant here.
First, as noted in the method section, the subprocesses of the blinds assembly were more socially integrated in the rollers room than in the verticals

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room. The transfer of blinds between work tables in the rollers room was undertaken by workers themselves. In this transfer process, social exchanges, always friendly, sometimes joking, and sometimes musical, occurred between workers from different work tables. By contrast, in the verticals room, there was separate pooling stages away from work tables, where partly finished blinds were stored and taken by workers, without social exchanges occurring between workers from different tables.
The second factor was the differences in radio stations listened to in the two workrooms. In the rollers room, a considerable amount of the music played was familiar to the vast majority of the workers. Radio stations that played familiar music were chosen. This afforded the opportunity for active social listening among workers in the verticals room, whether in the form of singing along or dancing or just smiling to each other in mutual recognition of a song.
In the verticals room, more unfamiliar music was played more often. For the first 10 days of my time in the room, a radio station that almost exclusively played only music released in the previous 2 months was played. Most workers did not know most of these songs, and so this music afforded fewer opportunities for social listening (see below for discussion of radio station choice).
This was not always the case in this workroom, however. In the course of a number of conversations that I overheard and in which I took part, it was noted by a number of workers who had worked at MacTells a considerable time that the “atmosphere” in the workroom had “become terrible.” This referred to the relative lack of friendly, joking, and musical social interchanges on the shop floor and to a sense of tension in the air. A number of workers described how the atmosphere, and the music played, had been better in the past. In an effort to change this situation, a group of workers sought to change the radio station being played, in the clear belief that “we need some better music for a better atmosphere; there’s too many glum faces. We need something we all know”
(Julie, Day 44). The workers were successful in instigating a policy of swapping between two radio stations—between the one that played contemporary music and one that played the “hits of the 70s, 80s, and 90s,” the sort of music
“that we can sing along to” (Julie, Day 44). Within a few days, I observed that the frequency of social listening exchanges had considerably increased. The workers who were involved in the change of radio station policy noted to me that “the atmosphere is definitely better now” (Elizabeth, Day 48). These workers clearly believed that a form of music that afforded more social listening opportunities could play a key role in creating and sustaining a stronger Stayin’
Alive shop floor culture. My observations were consistent with this belief.
The third factor contributing to differing levels of articulation between music and work in the two workrooms was the difference in the mode of

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music delivery—between music relayed on dispersed, worker-owned and operated portable radios in the rollers room and music relayed on a central broadcast system, owned by the firm and centrally controlled in the verticals room. A greater degree of engagement with the radio music occurred in the rollers room because of this difference. In the rollers room, a common topic of conversation was the quality of the music on a radio station being played, with some workers praising it and others criticizing it, arguing that a different station should be played. With only a very few exceptions, these interchanges playfully unfolded as banter between groups.11 Constant negotiation took place as to the nature of the rotation of radio stations to be played. The groups were largely, but not exclusively, defined by differences in age, with older workers lobbying for more “classic hits” radio and younger workers lobbying for more contemporary music stations. When stations were changed over, as they frequently were, the “victorious” group would engage in sustained social listening exchanges, in part as a playful signifier of their success. By contrast, in the verticals room, exchanges about the radio stations were much rarer. I observed no such observations before the episode noted earlier, when a group of workers instigated a change in stations being played.
When asked, a large number of workers expressed an ignorance of who chose the radio station to be played and how this choice was made.12 These workers were therefore less likely to see the music being played as being their music in the way that occurred in the rollers room.
The above points allow the following conclusions to be drawn regarding the nature of the linkage between music and community. The key mediating stage between music and community at MacTells was social listening. Social listening itself was predicated on both a degree of workplace community already existing and a form of music that facilitated social listening. With some community and the right sort of music, social listening could occur, which itself could further strengthen the bonds of community in the shop floor culture. This was a linkage that a number of workers themselves intuited.
Now I turn to consider the role of social listening on the types of meaning that were created about work through music. Social listening had a considerable impact in this area. A striking finding is that 61 (90%) of the nominations were songs that had been heard within the workplace. This strongly suggests that the music played at work at MacTells, and the role music had in the workplace culture, was crucial to the way in which music came to meaningfully speak to people about their work. Without music in the workplace, it is likely that the findings would have been broadly consistent with the wider cultural pattern of disarticulation between music and work. This argument is clearly consistent with the observation that it was those who were not engaged in the

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Stayin’Alive musical shop floor culture at MacTells who were less likely to be able to nominate a song that spoke to them about their working life.
Only seven songs were nominated that were chosen from a listening incident when the respondent was alone and outside of the social context of workplace. These songs, heard away from the Stayin’ Alive culture of the workplace, were less likely to express active resistance and defiance than the songs heard socially within the workplace. The most achingly eloquent of these songs was put forward by Alison (coded under melancholia).
Alison (28) works in finishing, nominates a Coldplay song from the CD Rush of Blood to the Head, and she can’t quite remember what it’s called, “but the main theme is where do we go now, we go nowhere, something like that—anyway it reminds me of this place, where are we going? We’re all going nowhere aren’t we? We’re going nowhere. Very miserable he [the singer] is. I was having a glass of red wine the other night, and it was playing and I thought of this place. Always rushing to get your numbers done, but then you’re just back where you started, another lot to do.” As if to emphasize the point, another bundle of work to be done is delivered to the trolley next to our table, just after we’ve worked hard to do the previous batch of blinds. (Day 16)
Running in circles, chasing our tails. . . .
Nobody said it was easy,
No one ever said it would be so hard (“The Scientist,” Coldplay)

For Alison, the song expresses the quiet but inevitable sadness of seeing more blinds to be finished, replacing the blinds just completed—the sadness of being part of a never-ending, meaningless cycle. Although the song, regarded by many fans of Coldplay as high point of their beautifully sad oeuvre, appears to be written as a lament for the end of a relationship, Alison has given it new, perhaps deeper, meaning in her choice of the song.
Of the seven nominated songs that were heard outside of the workplace, four were coded under despairing frustration, and one was coded under melancholia. The social aspect of hearing songs within the workplaces lent a stronger tone of defiance and resistance to the meaning ascribed to the music at MacTells. Individualized listening outside of the workplace led to a stronger flavor of despair and melancholia in the creation of meaning regarding music and work. Indeed, where (isolated) incidents of individualized listening occurred within MacTells, the data contained a similar pattern.
Although it was against management policy, two workers occasionally used headphones at work, and one of these workers was able to nominate a song.
It was coded under melancholia:

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Steve (20), the guy on headrails who sometimes wears headphones nominates
“Hotel California” by The Eagles. “Why?” I ask. He says he has it on a mix tape, and he’s been working away, listening to it, and the lines “You can check out but you can never leave” makes him think “Oh, yeah, that’s it, that’s here,” expressed with a shake of the head. (Day 45).

For Steve, the line “you can check out but you can never leave” caught the melancholia of again and again finishing a piece of work, only to be faced with an identical piece of work to finish. Also in a position of relatively isolated listening were two people who did the rod cutting for the vertical blinds. They listened to their own music—tapes, CDs, or radio—as they worked in a small room away from the main workroom in a position where it was not possible to see or hear the main workroom. One of the workers’ nomination from here was also coded under melancholia:
I know. “Stay Another Day” by East 17. It’s ‘cos I’ve seen so many people come and go from here. (Day 44).13

It is also notable that two of the four nominations coded under hated repetition—a category outside of active resistance and defiance—came from isolated listening within the workplace. To take the example given earlier,
Janice’s nomination of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” relates to
Janice hearing the song just as she is entering the factory floor and before she has been able to relocate herself within the community on the floor.
Finally, there is the issue of how far the songs chosen had lyrics that made explicit reference to work. There were 25 songs nominated (37%) in which the lyrics made explicit reference to work. These 25 nominations were dominated by 22 nominations for “We’ve Got to Get Out of This Place.” A clear majority of songs nominated (63%) had no reference to work within the lyrics. This finding is not surprising given (a) the importance of the process of avowal in the creation of meaning in music, and (b) the importance of music being heard within the workplace. If avowal is found in the main refrain or title of the songs, then it is likely to be largely irrelevant whether the song is about work or if it is about lovers going through hard times (“The
Only Way Is Up”) or about coping in the aftermath of a relationship ending
(“I Will Survive”). Indeed, it may be that it was little more than a happy accident that the most nominated song, “We’ve Got to Get Out of This
Place,” centered on work. This is because, for many people, the importance of this song lay not in the verse buildup about the dead-end working life that is to be escaped but rather in the avowal process of the chorus, as noted

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above. Furthermore, given that the songs played on the radio reflected the larger cultural disarticulation between music and work, particularly evident in singles-chart music, and given that the music heard within the workplace so heavily influenced the nomination of songs, it is again not surprising that songs without reference to work dominated the nominations.

Ethnicity, Sex, and Age
As stated in the method section above, the research was conducted to allow an analysis of how ethnicity, sex, and age may have influenced the way in which workers created meaning about their work through music. The central finding to report is that the research found no influence of these factors.
Members of an ethnic minority were just as likely as White British workers to nominate a song that expressed a negative experience of work and an active defiance toward being dominated by it. There was a similar likelihood between the groups as to whether a song could be nominated at all. Similarly, there were no differences between men and women, nor between younger workers and older workers, in whether and how workers heard music as speaking to them about their working lives.
There may have been clear differences between groups in the types of music that were preferred—and, indeed, there clearly was a difference in tastes between younger and older workers—but this did not prevent different groups from using different types of music in essentially similar ways regarding the creation of meaning about work. A feeling of community at work could be expressed by a woman, aged 50, nominating the 1970s song “We
Are Family” and by a young teenage woman nominating the recent hit “So
Hot” by Nellie. Nor did the existence of different tastes across age groups prevent different age groups from using the same music to articulate the same feelings about work. The 22 workers who nominated The Animals’s 1960s song “We’ve Got to Get Out of This Place” were made up of the young, the middle-aged, and the old.
How can we interpret the apparent lack of salience of ethnicity, sex, and age for music and meaning at work? The data suggest that the class position of the workers was the dominant factor driving the nomination of songs.
Overwhelmingly, the nominated songs expressed the resilience, frustrations, and indignities of workers as workers within the social relations of a
Taylorized, low-paying factory. This suggests the continuing importance of class within workplace relations (see Leidner, 2006).
However, it is also necessary to be aware of contextual factors specific to
MacTells potentially underpinning this finding. Notably, within the immediate

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MacTells workplace, ethnicity, sex, and age hierarchies were not key factors informing the division of labor.14 Relatively young women could become supervisors, and although no supervisors were ethnic minorities, this was not perceived by members of ethnic minorities as significant. There were a few positions on the shop floor that were seen as “men’s jobs” and that were occupied by men, notably packing and carrying jobs, but these jobs did not receive any additional benefits and were not seen as superior jobs. In the rollers workroom, supervisors and workers recognized that the job of cutting was the central one on the shop floor—it involved more skill (although the same benefits were tied to it as to other jobs), and it set the pace for production. These cutting jobs were mainly undertaken by women, some of whom were young. The lack of salience of ethnicity, sex, and age in the nomination data may also potentially have been underpinned by the fact that it was the music in situ on the shop floor that was the key source for songs nominated: Of the nominations, 90% came from songs heard within the workplace. Essentially, communities of interpretation were created on the shop floor. This meant that different modes of listening and interpreting that may have been salient for certain groups outside of the workplace could have been marginalized by the shop floor Stayin’ Alive culture. Furthermore, the actual songs that were able to be heard on the shop floor were also informed by the dominant Stayin’Alive culture. Asian workers, for instance, were able to hear extremely little music informed by Asian musical styles because this was not the music that could be easily understood by the vast majority of the workforce.15

Conclusion
This article has examined a hitherto neglected aspect of industrial sociology—the terrain of music for meaning making on the factory floor.
Although music appears to only rarely speak to the arena of work, this article has shown that shop floor workers in the factory reappropriated music to articulate their experience of working in the factory. The music was used by workers to contribute to a Stayin’ Alive culture, and some of it was interpreted by workers as holding meanings of resistance and defiance. These findings need to be located in the terms of the debate between Fiske (1987) and Adorno (1978) regarding the scope for commercial popular music to offer opportunities for the expression of class conflict and articulations of the hidden injuries of class. The findings showed that although there were few songs chosen that offered explicit critiques of the nature of factory work, it was still the case that many workers could independently create meaning

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systems characterized by both a negative experience of the work and by an active resistance to being dominated and defined by the work. The meanings ascribed to the songs chosen overwhelmingly reflected the class position of workers in a low-pay, Taylorized factory rather than the specifics of individuals’ ethnicity, sex, or age. Music was a key terrain for alternative meaning creation—for “organizational misbehavior.” The way in which this functioned was often through the process of avowal, in which choruses of songs could allow deeply felt but usually tacit feelings to be given direct articulation. Thus, Adorno’s arguments that popular music tends to affirm the social order are found wanting here.
The findings suggested that the high degree of articulation between music and work found in the data was predicated on the active presence of music within the shop floor culture of MacTells. Most of the song nominations were predicated on social listening in the factory context. Of considerable relevance in the Fiske–Adorno debate was the finding that where nominations came from individualized listening and meaning creation, the broader pattern of active resistance and defiance changed to a pattern dominated by melancholia and despairing frustration. The social context of listening therefore was a key factor informing the nature of music reception and meaning creation—a finding that supports the limited (non–workplace based) research in this area. Crucially, for the theoretical debates, the potential importance of social listening was an area that Adorno (1978) failed to consider. As De Nora
(2003) notes, “Adorno’s conception of music reception was of individual listeners and of responses unconditioned by the interactional . . . contexts of particular listening occasions” (p. 87).
Further research could be usefully conducted to explore the way in which people use music as a terrain for meaning making of active resistance and defiance in other work contexts. Further research can explore the way in which music articulates people’s experience of the working environment in other factories in which low-skill, repetitive work is undertaken. In this way, we can see how far “We’ve Got to Get Out of This Place” can be characterized as the work song of the contemporary factory floor. Research could also be conducted in other working contexts, such as retail work, office work, high-tech work, and car- or truck-based work, to see how far musical meaning making differs among these different contexts. Research could also consider whether a male-dominated workplace differs from the way in which music is used for meaning compared to the female-dominated factory floor at MacTells.16
Further research could also usefully compare the nature and degree of importance of musical meaning making in factories where music is not present with

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those where music is present. This would access what the findings of this article suggest is the crucial issue in the articulation or dis-articulation between music and work—the degree to which music at work informs the way in which music is seen to be about work. The process of avowal has been identified as crucial in the opening up of space for independent meaning making in the reappropriation of popular music. Further research could examine how far this finding is reproduced not only in other work contexts but also in other social contexts. This is important because the musical structure of popular music, with the musical buildup to a declamatory chorus, very easily lends itself to the process of avowal.
This research could also examine in more detail the limits of meaning making implicit within such a process of avowal around chorus refrains. A look at the forms of meaning creation promoted by radio music in the 1930s in the Southern textile belt of the United States is salutary here. Roscigno and Danaher (2003) bring out how popular militant songs commonly heard on the radio could both articulate deep-felt grievance and lay out collective political action to address these grievances. The depth and breadth of meaning that can be articulated in the process of avowal in a chorus of a contemporary pop song stand in stark contrast to the meanings articulated in the textile songs of the 1930s. The choice of chart music primarily for the Stayin’ Alive culture may therefore have significantly limited the depth and breadth of alternative meanings that could be articulated through music.
With the considerable growth in individualized listening through Sony
Walkmans (Bull, 2000) and iPods (Bull, 2006), a critical finding to subject to further research is that the more individualized the listening and meaning creation, the more likely a passive frustration and melancholia rather than an active defiance is created. It could be that Adorno’s (1978) picture of passivity in the music consumer is more likely to be found in the post-Fordist, high-tech iPod workplace context than in the Fordist factory, where the active creation of social listening patterns tends to militate against passivity in the nature of the meaning created. At least at MacTells, it was crucial that it was we who had to get out of this place.

Notes
1. For more such glimpses, see Calagione (1992), Delbridge (1998), Elger and Smith (1998),
Garson (1994), and Morgan (1975). Also see Patti Smith’s song “Piss Factory,” which is based on her experience of working in a New Jersey factory (Bockvis, 1998; O’Brien, 1995).
2. These studies started with Wyatt and Langdon’s (1937) study of music’s effect on fatigue and boredom. With the introduction of broadcast music into many factories in the United
Kingdom and United States in World War II, there was a flowering in the 1940s and 1950s of psychological research into music’s effect on a range of outcomes, especially productivity.

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A typical title of research in this tradition is “Music on the Job: Its Influence on Worker Morale and Production” (Uhrbock, 1961).
3. There is also some intriguing scholarship that seeks to unravel the effect of the nature of work on forms of music. For an important recent contribution in this area, see Dinerstein (2003).
4. Where workers are named (with pseudonyms), I give their estimated age in brackets.
5. I had told people that I was going to write a book about music and life at MacTells.
Adam, who worked in Rollers, asked me what will it be called. “Stayin” Alive,” I suggested.
“Yeah, that’s it. Perfect,” he said.
6. By contrast, nominations within the categories of despairing frustration, melancholia, and hated repetition can be seen to be informed by an implicit despair that the negative aspects of
MacTells may be becoming too strong to resist. In all, 13 nominations (19%) are in these categories.
7. Thanks are due to Adam for writing these lyrics for me and allowing me to use them in this research.
8. The process of avowal was not significant for songs coded under musical instigators, melancholia, hated repetition, thinking of being somewhere else, and laughter at management rhetoric. In these cases, either a workplace incident tied to a song or the narrative or overall feel of a song underpinned the process of meaning making. Avowal was a significant process for some of the songs coded under community and despairing frustration.
9. Note also that the avowal process of this song’s chorus is likely to have underpinned its considerable popularity among American soldiers in Vietnam (Frith, 1984).
10. The importance of musical or lyrical avowal for so many of the nominations also helps us understand why only one of the nominated songs was chosen solely for its music rather than its lyrics in combination with the music. It should be recalled that workers were asked whether there was a song or a piece of music that spoke to them in any way, musically, rhythmically, or lyrically, for instance, about their experience of working in the factory. There is no prioritization of lyrics in the question, but there is an overwhelming prioritization of lyrics in the answers.
Given that the process of avowal requires a direct articulation of a deeply held but usually tacit feeling, for the process to occur there is a need for a lyrical statement (in combination with music) rather than for a purely musical passage in a song. Hence, there is an emphasis within the nominations on lyrical statements.
11. The exceptions centered on a radio located next to a fabric-cutting machine. Because of the electrical interference of the machine with the radio reception, the radio could receive a much more limited number of stations. This limitation in choice led to some friction.
12. In fact, the central radio controls were located inside an administrative office. The secretaries there exercised an informal control over station choices. These secretaries could barely hear the music, and although they were open to suggestions for changes, their policy was governed by inertia—they would turn the system on to whatever station was already tuned in.
13. The song articulates the singer’s sadness at the thought that his lover is about to leave him.
14. Outside of the immediate workplace, hierarchies of ethnicity and sex were apparent, however. The well-paid managers and owners of MacTells were overwhelmingly White, British, and male.
15. Although note that there were some Bangra-based dance songs that I heard on the radios at MacTell. This observation leads to a wider point about ethnicity, class, and the meaning of music for work within the U.K. context. The dominant musical styles of popular music within the United Kingdom have been informed by a succession of meetings between music from different ethnic and geographical backgrounds. The music of the Stayin’ Alive culture is a music informed by the music of a number of ethnic groups.

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16. Note that Messenger’s (1975) oral history study of the musical culture in Belfast textiles factories in the 1930s suggests that women were more likely to sing than men. If this is indeed the case, and given that the singing of choruses may have been crucial to the process of collective avowal at MacTells, it may be that musical meaning through avowal may be less common in male-dominated factories.

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Marek Korczynski is a professor of sociology of work at Loughborough University Business
School. His research interests center on the relationship between music and work, the sociology of service work, and the application of social theory to work. Among his books are On the Line:
Organization of Work in the Information Economy (1999, coauthored) and Social Theory at Work
(2006, edited with Randy Hodson and Paul K. Edwards).

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...copy and paste the descriptions from your Career Interests Profile. [pic] |My Career Interest Areas |Description | |1 Conventional |Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines.| | |These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. | | |Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow. | |2 Investigative |Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an | | |extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts | | |and figuring out problems mentally. | |3 Social |Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and | | |teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to | | |others. | List your career matches from the Career Interests Profiler results. What careers are......

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...Sociology - Study Guide Test #2 Key Terms: Socialization Effects of isolation on children - Genie Agents of socialization Peer group/family/education/media/religion/work Nature vs Nurture Gender socialization Harlow experiment (findings) Looking glass self Self-identity Anticipatory socialization Resocialization (voluntary/involuntary) Total Institutions Social Interaction Social Structure Status set Roles/Groups Achieved vs Ascribed Status Master Status Role strain vs Role conflict Role exit Social Control (informal/formal) Deviance vs. crime Strain theory Labelling theory Differential Association theory Control theory (elements of social bonds) Conflict theory/differential justice Stigma Social stratification/systems social mobility/types Income vs Wealth Prestige/status inconsistency Absolute vs relative poverty Poverty in Canada/detail Theoretical views of poverty consequences of poverty Review questions 1. ________The lifelong process of social interaction through which individuals acquire a self-identity and learn their culture. 2. ________The persons, groups or institutions that teach us what we need to know in order to participate in society. 3. ________ The process of learning a new and different set of attitudes and behaviours from those in one’s previous background. 4. _______ A place where people are isolated from the......

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Why Has the Work Done by Women Often Been Assumed to Be of Less Important Than the Work Done by Men? Is It Due to the Prevalence of Men’s Ideas About the Value of Individual Occupations, or Have Other Forces Been

...Introduction “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes flex time and a baby carriage.” Said by a supervisor at Novartis who refused to hire women (Carter 2010) Traditionally, the work done by women is often assumed to be less important than the work performed by their male counterparts. This statement continue to plague women in all societies today, as theorist like Murdock believe, given the biological differences between men and women a sexual division of labour is the most efficient way of organising society (Haralambos & Holborn, 2008). This is one way in which the mainstream theorist sought to justify the invisibility of women and assigned roles based on the sex of the individuals. Women has always been viewed or defined by the role she is assigned by society, for which I consider to be socially constructed. However, the role women played in the home is domesticated in the role of homemaker and caregiver, thus, when we examine women’s work, we primarily think of the work that women do at home, their unpaid domestic labour. The old adage ‘women’s work is never done’ speaks to the various household tasks for which women are assumed to take overall responsibility. Many theorist used the biological theory as to heighten why women is best suited for some jobs rather than others. In reality we know that not all women are capable of assuming the role of the caring, nurturing and domesticated type, just as not all male are able to display a rough, tough and......

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...legislation in the industry code for makeup service is to Make sure your uniform is tidy and clean to also Insure that your equipment is sterilized properly and clean. Always wear an apron to protect your clothing’s and gloves. All therapist should Always work towards the health and safety standards. Describe the important of the disability discrimination act in relation to the salon Discrimination Act 2005 and equality act 2006 is unlawful to discriminate against disabled people in employment - It is against the law for an employer: not to make reasonable adjustments to the workplace to enable you to work or to continue to work. To harass you if you are disabled, for example, by making jokes about your disability. Describe the legal significance of gaining, signed, written, informed consent If a client gave you false information you would have evidence to back you and stop anything from happening. Describe own responsibilities and reasons for maintaining personal hygiene, protection and appearance, according to industry and organization requirements. It is very important to maintain a high standard, of personal hygiene and appearance as it send out a strong message about you and your occupation. Bathing daily, wearing deodorant, brushing teeth twice daily, or more if eating strong smelling foods as bad odors are very off-putting. Appearance is as equally important, hair tied back off the face in a bun with clean short nails, shows you take......

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...expectancy. This could be because of poor living circumstances in Glasgow then in London this could link so Social Cass. Also because the person is on a low income they won’t have the money to go to private care it may be difficult for the person to receive quality care like a person who makes a lot of money. Those in lower paid, unskilled jobs have a greater risk of accidents at work and can suffer from stress linked to unemployment. Professionals enjoy healthier lifestyle, not just because they have a better standard of living because they are more likely to be aware of health issues and more likely to consult doctors than men. As a result, women appear to have higher sickness relates than men but this may reflect that fact more male ill health Is unreported which links to gender. The black report agrees with the sociological model of health on that environment factors could play apart in health and illness such as Poor Housing, Diet and pollution. Social Economic states means that an individual’s position in the social structure. Socio economic status can be from different things, for example occupation, education income and wealth. Sometimes sociologist use socio economic status to determine an individual’s behaviour. A huge amount of research was done which showed that health and ill health and life expectancy can be different on the social group and especially on the social class. For example individuals from a higher social class are more likely to have higher......

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...Profession or Occupation There are many factors to why we debate whether nursing is a profession or an occupation. A swift search on the internet shows an overwhelming amount of nurses, tenured and new, heavily sided on the “profession” end of the spectrum. While a few differing perspectives, also from individuals claiming to be in the healthcare field, felt equally strong that nursing is an occupation due to the lack of autonomy and decision-making abilities because instructions and directives are handed “down” by doctors. Profession or Occupation In my opinion, nursing is absolutely a profession. At the surface, the dictionary defines ‘profession’ as requiring a specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation. (Merriam-webster.com, 2015). Factor One According to Donna Cardillo, a columnist for Nurse Spectrum, NurseWeek, nurse.com and deemed as a Career Guru for Nurses, released a blog on her opinion between the two. Donna’s solid argument states, “nurses have specialized education and training validated by “professional licensure” in each state. We have a code of ethics and established practice standards we are bound to adhere to, a violation of which can result in our license being revoked or sanctioned.” As a homecare nurse for the past 4 years, I understand the importance of ethics and practice standards. Homecare nurses typically work alone, on-site and one-on-one with their patients. The work is often done without the direct......

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